Source: Received an e-ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
I wanted to read this because of previous experiences with these authors' wriSource: Received an e-ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
I wanted to read this because of previous experiences with these authors' writing (Notes From the Blender was coauthored by them and Halpin cowrote these two others with another writer: The Half-Life of Planets and Tessa Masterson WILL Go to Prom). Like those books, this alternates between a male and a female perspective allowing for more insight into character and the relationships around them while also touching on romance and deeper family issues. As a bonus, this was definitely my favorite of these cowritten books, as I found it hilarious and moving despite the unlikely setting of a reform school for teens with psychiatric problems.
We first meet Emmy who does not feel wanted within her family, being the tiny adopted Chinese daughter while her perfect younger sister is obviously the favorite. She also has anger issues and, as is observed by our other narrator, is anorexic. That other narrator is Justin who ends up in the reform school due to his sexual activities and a suicide attempt, revealing his battle with depression. The two of them plus four others form an offbeat group that together begins to face their issues and develop appropriate ways of handling them.
What I enjoyed most was definitely the humor, which I wasn't really expecting. Though the synopsis teases funny, I figured it would be more serious as the characters have very real dark problems. As someone who loves comedy, I appreciated the lighter touch here though some of the reviews I've seen seemed to want it handled more seriously. I can see where that desire comes from but I was fine to just enjoy the laughter.
My favorite parts come from the characters interacting. For example, when the group first starts meeting, they all hate each other. However incentives cause them to band together and really progress in their healing. I loved all of the group scenes and couldn't believe everything they managed to get up to in such a restricted setting. Now I do think the adventure toward the end was way over the top (it involves leaving campus to set free a smuggled pig) but in keeping with the lightweight tone of the book overall.
Unfortunately the humor does somewhat trivialize the serious problems faced by the kids. I had some trouble rationalizing that in my head. I can sometimes over-empathize with book characters so I desperately wanted them all to be healed and to receive the love and care they need to build better lives while also realizing that such healing doesn't happen over night. I wouldn't want to suggest that depression, anorexic, etc. was something to laugh about and yet I also understand the desire to put these issues in the light and show that they can be faced, especially if you have good friends who make you laugh. (I think this paragraph may be a bit muddled but it all makes sense in my head, I promise!)
Content warning: Some language, violence, and sexual talk and situations-I found it all very organic and fitting but I'm sure it would bother some readers....more
Source: Received an e-ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
I absolutely adore trivia, lists, and pop culture so checking this book out wSource: Received an e-ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
I absolutely adore trivia, lists, and pop culture so checking this book out was a complete no-brainer especially once I saw Liviana at In Bed With Books' positive review. I'm glad I checked it out because this book was so much fun! I don't have a lot to say about it other than I really enjoyed reading it.
I do consider myself pretty familiar with many areas of pop culture but I was pleased to discover even more new things. I did know a lot of the movies and books but there are also music, video games, and more that were new to me. I appreciated the chance to get some new ideas for entertainment to check out. The list topics are arranged in five areas and then pretty randomly within each category.
What I liked the most about the book was that it is not just lists. There are full-on (often very humorous) paragraphs explaining why something is on the list as well as providing bonus materials on occasion. I literally laughed out loud at several points and shared a few tidbits with the people around me.
Overall, I think this would be a fun book to keep as a reference, definitely something you would want a hard copy of rather than the e-book version I read. My copy featured black and white illustrations; I am wondering if the actual book has color to match the cover....more
Having come across the strip online, I was excited to pick up the book and receive more of Beaton's literature and history based humor. It's kind of nHaving come across the strip online, I was excited to pick up the book and receive more of Beaton's literature and history based humor. It's kind of nerdy, just like me!
I was so happy to open this book and see that the very first comic was one of my favorites: the Brontë sisters rating men (you can check it out here). Charlotte and Emily swoon over the douches while Anne scorns their poor taste in men (I happen to think that Rochester and Heathcliff are total douches and thus wholeheartedly concur). This is the comic that got me interested in reading Anne's books even though I have yet to do so. But I have good intentions! (2012 reading goal?)
The second comic is completely different with figures from Canadian history (which I can confirm because I googled all of their names). Although I didn't immediately understand it, there were still funny lines. There are other comics that also seem to focus on Canadian history that still worked for me; bonus: I got to look them up and learn more about our northern neighbor (hello Canadians!)
Don't worry, I'm not going to summarize every strip; I just wanted to a. show two I really liked and b. show the wide variety of topics that Beaton covers. It's mostly history and literature but sometimes just random silly stuff.
One thing I would have liked was Beaton's comments on every strip. She comments on some but not all. I collect the Pearls Before Swines treasuries specifically because Stephan Pastis provides (usually hilarious) commentary on almost every strip and I think that insight into the creator's mind is incredibly valuable and enjoyable for a reader. Perhaps Beaton will put out another collection with this additional information.
Overall: Definitely worth a read if you're part of the nerdy crowd...which probably includes you for reading this review on goodreads :)...more
After eagerly anticipating Tina Fey's Bossypants and being disappointed, I was a little leery of picking this up. I know it's not fair to link these tAfter eagerly anticipating Tina Fey's Bossypants and being disappointed, I was a little leery of picking this up. I know it's not fair to link these two funny ladies, just because they write and act on NBC sitcoms but they are somewhat linked in my mind because of those facts. Happily I was wrong to doubt because Mindy Kaling's collection was delightful!
First I love Kaling's sense of humor as evidenced by my adoration for many of her episodes on "The Office" as well as my love of Kelly. Kaling helpfully provides a list of where their personalities diverge although even after reading this book, I may conflate them a bit. She follows a rough chronological timeline of her life from awkward childhood to awkward adolescence through college and post-grad life going to work on "The Office" with some diversions about friendship and comedy and lots of comedic gems.
The chapters are amusingly titled and short, always a plus in my book. Besides sharing about personal experiences, there are also musings on what makes a great best friend and some concepts for movies she'd like to make (all-girl Ghostbusters remake). I wouldn't say this is a deep book with Kaling revealing her innermost self but I don't think it was meant to be so that is not a failing in my opinion. Instead it is a light and frothy afternoon read-I could not put this book down!
Overall: Certainly worth a read if you think you share a similar sense of humor to Kaling; I know I do....more
Do you like cats? Well, I am the proud human of an adorable orange tabby who is totally the boss of our house and I am here to say that if you have anDo you like cats? Well, I am the proud human of an adorable orange tabby who is totally the boss of our house and I am here to say that if you have any love for cats, you'll probably love this book.
First the cats look so cute! The main three are an orange cat (my favorite as he makes me think of my cat), a light gray, and a dark gray cat. There is also a cartoon version of the author, her husband and their dog as she examines the place of cats and compares that to treatment of humans and dogs.
Some scenes seem to possibly come from the author's real-life while others are just representative of stereotypes (and sometimes of the realities) of being a cat lover. Most of the comics made me smile and a few made me laugh out loud in recognition. This was a fast read and I highly recommend it for lovers of cats and adorableness!...more
I love to laugh but I don't spend much time online at sites such as failblog.org. So I thought this would be a funny and quick read with new to me picI love to laugh but I don't spend much time online at sites such as failblog.org. So I thought this would be a funny and quick read with new to me pictures. According to other reviews, these pictures have appeared on the site so if you're a long-time reader of the site who doesn't want to spend the money, this probably isn't for you.
As for me, most of the pictures made me crack a smile although a few were a little hard to see on my computer. I feel like this kind of book is better in person with the glossy colorful pictures and the ability to examine it more closely and in detail. However none of the pictures made me laugh as much as I wanted to and because these are pictures, I could speed through them; it took me maybe 10 minutes because I was too impatient to savor the pictures.
Overall: Not as funny as I expected but a worthy book to buy if you want to support the failblog....more
by Matthew Inman Andrews McMeel Publishing, LLC, 2011 152 pages Humor 4/5 stars
Source: Received a free review copy via Netgalley in exchange for an honestby Matthew Inman Andrews McMeel Publishing, LLC, 2011 152 pages Humor 4/5 stars
Source: Received a free review copy via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
This is a hilarious collection of comics touching on a wide range of subjects. My personal favorites are those teaching grammar points (such as when to use an apostrophe or a semi-colon) and those with cats. Lately I have really been wanting a cat which is a huge no-no in my dorm but as I'm graduating this year, perhaps I will get a cat later. I just miss our family's cat so much and some of the points made ring so true!
The only problem was that in digital format, it was hard to read many of the asides as the writing could not be made bigger. I'm not entirely sure why but I think it makes sense. Luckily I was already familiar with some of the comics so I could figure out what most of the words were.
Check out theoatmeal.com for more and to order your own copy! ...more